Workshop on the Foundations of Randomness


26-28 October 2015

dice The study of the foundations of randomness has a rich history of inspiring important concepts, and a number of reasons make this a particularly auspicious time to revisit this subject. We have deep new insights into the relationship between quantum non-locality and randomness, allowing randomness to be certified in a way that was previously unimaginable. Recent breakthroughs in cryptography have clarified what it means to create a random looking version of a program through the process of program obfuscation. And of course, randomness extractors and pseudo randomness (including in fields such as additive combinatorics) provide a powerful lens through which to view randomness.

The workshop brings together participants from Coputer Science, Physics, Philosophy and Mathematics to exchange ideas and reflect on these questions. It is organized as part of Fall 2015 STIAS project on The nature of randomness and fundamental physical limits of secrecy, led by Artur Ekert. The workshop is co-organized by:

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study and from the ETH Zurich.




The workshop will be held in the conference center of the Wallenberg center at STIAS (map).


The workshop will run for three days, from Monday October 26th to Wednesday October 28th. The schedule is available here.

Slides for some of the talks are available, thanks to the speakers:

We came up with a nice list of Open Questions to keep us busy till the next iteration:


Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided. The conference dinner will be held at 6:30pm at Lanzerac Estate on Tuesday October 27th, and be preceded by a wine tasting at the Estate.


Accommodation for all participants is provided at the Life and Leasure guest house in Stellenbosch.